Skip level meetings have become a tradition theses days. The first thing a line manager asks HR function when it comes to employee connect is 'skip level meeting'. Its a beautiful concept with an objective of hearing employees without any bias. Recently business leaders and HR function have started questioning the efficacy of it.
We don't believe in skip level meetings.We have seen that more than feedback coming out, this becomes an opportunity to voice out grievances against their supervisor resulting in the skip manager spending time on justifying the decisions.
We foster a culture of continuous feedback on anyone. Hence if someone has issue against their supervisor, they can directly discuss with the supervisor. The supervisor on other hand takes it in a positive way and encourages the discussion. If employee is still not happy with the discussion, he can escalate to anyone to CEO level simply by walking into the person. We pro-actively support escalation as we have a strong belief that escalation is not against someone personal but with an objective to resolve an issue.
Result: We have seen increased transparency in the system with more faith on both sides of the coin. This has also saved time due to no skip meetings. A word of caution - the system need to have so much of trust that a negative feedback in front of manager should not backlash against the complainant. HR & Leaders need to be sure that such maturity is present at all levels.